Lesablier Aviateur VQ (Review) + interview with the founder

Today we are gonna be taking a look at a new company called Lesablier and their watch Aviateur VQ! I actually discovered this watch company accidentally on the Instagram discovery page, I was swiping down and tapped accidentally on a picture with this watch and I really loved the design and also the lume shot it makes. The company name “Le sablier” in French translates to “the hourglass”. The company itself was funded on Kickstarter back in May of this year (2018) and they got 14 backers who pledged $11,056 to help bring this project to life. Before we take a closer look at the watch, let’s have a small chat with the founder of the company Akbar, and I got to say he has some cool watches in his personal collection: 

1. Introduce yourself?

My name is Akbar, I am the founder of Lesablier. I have been passionate about watches from a very young age, and owning my own watch company has always been a lifelong dream of mine.

2. What started your watch passion?

My passion for watches began when I was barely old enough to walk. All throughout my childhood my father wore a steel-gold vintage Rolex Datejust that he bought for himself sometime long in the past.

I was always enamored by this Watch, I was in love with everything about it from the way the fluted bezel caught the light to the way the seconds hand just seamlessly glided its way around the dial. The moment I first saw it up close was the moment I knew that I loved watches.

3. What makes a good wristwatch to you?

A good wristwatch to me is a watch that makes you check the time for no reason. A good watch is more than watch, it is an experience. A watch should have that “je ne sais quoi” that separates it from any other watch.

A good wristwatch to me is also something that is solid and well built. Something that you can wear and you can instantly tell that the watchmaker, designer and everyone in between poured love into it to make it exactly the way it is . Whether it be the materials or the physical construction of the watch , craftsmanship is extremely important in a good watch.

While both these points are elements of a good watch, they don’t make a watch “good” on their own. It’s not enough for a watch to be well built, or for a watch to be just unique on its own. I’ve had many watches that were superb in construction but I just didn’t care for them. Similarly, I’ve had many watches that were most definitely unique, but lacked the quality to make it a good Watch in my eyes.

A good watch is the perfect balance of design , passion and craftsmanship.

4. How much watches do you have in your personal collection?

Aside from my Lesablier timepieces, I have the following 11 watches currently in my collection:

  • Omega Speedmaster Racing Michael Schumacher 3529.50.00
  • Rolex Oysterdate Precision 6694
  • Blancpain Chronometer ref. 7002
  • Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 14790SA
  • Vintage Omega Seamaster 166.0204
  • Breitling Airwolf F16 Limited Edition A78363
  • Vintage Tag Heuer Professional (Granite Dial) 959.713G -1960
  • Omega Seamaster Automatic (passed down from my grandfather on my mother’s side)
  • 1983 Omega Seamaster Quartz (passed down from my grandfather on my fathers side)
  • Contstantin Weisz Tourbillon
  • 1969 Zenith Defy Automatic

5. Who is your ideal customer?

Lesablier’s ideal customer is someone who not only likes watches and horology, but appreciates craftsmanship and outside-the-box thinking when it comes to watchmaking.

Someone who appreciates a brand that does not do what every other brand does, a brand that strives to build the watches it wants to built.

We want clients who will notice the fine details and appreciate that their a watch is one of only a limited amount to be made. We are a small-batch brand, and pride ourselves in the fact that every timepiece made bears a unique number, our ideal clients will appreciate that we focus on quality rather than quantity and all our watches are designed by us without any “catalog” parts or ready-made cases/dials/hands.

6. Tell about what you like to do outside of watches. Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Outside of watches , cars are a huge passion of mine. I especially like classic cars, and I have a few of them that I drive regularly. Along with cars, I am very much into aviation and dream of getting my pilot’s license one day.

I find my inspiration all around me . For example , as an aviation buff , I found inspiration for the Aviateur VQ in aircraft instruments. Our upcoming model draws inspiration from many different places , including automobiles.

I am also inspired by works of haute horlogerie. I love the outside-the-box thinking and innovative new ways that independent watchmakers find to make timepieces .

7. How’s do you see your watch brand in the future?

Lesablier is a boutique microbrand now and forever.

I always see Lesablier as being a small-batch brand. It is a part of our essence. While we may have a number of different styles in our future, we will never sacrifice quality for quantity and will keep making all our watches limit.

I strive to build a relationship with our customers and hope to build a collector base within our brand.

8. Are there any other new watches coming out this year

Yes! We are currently working on an exciting new automatic model that we believe will really stand out.

For updates and more info , subscribe at www.lesablierwatches.com/mailing-list

9. What was the hardest part of creating a microbrand watch company?

The hardest part by and large is getting the word out there. Even if you have the passion for it , creating a timepiece that you and others love is a tough in and of itself, but the real difficulty is sharing your brand and timepieces with the world.

10. Any suggestions to someone who wants to make their own microbrand watch?

Anyone can take a ready-made watch and slap a brand name on it , but to be a real, respected and successful microbrand it’s important to push the envelope and design something new and different.

Most microbrand consumers are not buying just one watch. They have many in their collection and they know exactly what they are looking at . It is important to make something that will stand out to them. This is valid for both design and quality of the watch.

So let’s get back to reviewing the watch. As this is a limited edition watch, only 500 will be produced and Akbar (the founder of the company) let me chose my number, usually, when it comes to limited edition watches from brands, they don’t let me choose a number so that was a cool little thing. I chose the number 8 as it is my lucky number. When I got the package I wasn’t expecting much from the packaging of the watch, I just thought it has a regular rectangle box, but not this time. When I took off the bubble wrap I saw probably one of the coolest packagings ever with that compass on the box and the hole with a window so you see the watch and it kind of continues the compass theme. Really like what Lesablier did with the packaging of the watch, the presentation is on point! In the box, you get of course the Aviateur VQ watch, instructions manual, and a very cool warranty card! The first impression when I took out the watch was good, it kind of reminded me a Seiko and Hamilton.

The case of the Aviateur VQ is made of 316L stainless steel with a bead blasted finishing in matte. The machine work is done very good, I really like those lugs and how they look, it kind of reminds me of those art deco watches from the 50s and 60s. The finishing is also done very good. All the case except the case back is done in the bead blasted finish and the case back is polished. The case diameter is 41mm, the thickness is 9,9mm, from lug to lug it measures at 49mm and the lug width is 22mm. On paper, it may look big, but in real life, it wears a bit smaller and very comfortable too. The signed push-pull the crown is located at 2 o’clock. The crown is very small, it is easy to operate surprisingly, but in proportions, I think it looks too small and should be a bit bigger in my opinion. The solid case back is held on with four little screws. The case back is really beautiful on this watch. You get this applied kind of tattoo-like graphics all over the case back, really beautiful. On the case back you will find the reference number, model name and what production number you have from the limited 500 watches that will be made. On top of the watch sits a slightly domed sapphire crystal with a blue Anti-Reflective coating. The water resistance is only 50m (50ATM), but that is a standard for pilots watches.

The dial is another very interesting one. It looks like a gauge dial from an airplane. It really follows that aero-nautical theme. So the dial is glossy black. Outside the dial we have the minute track in white in the middle we have the 24-hour dial which is split into sides: black/white which are for night/day. At 12 we have the iconic triangle with two points that every proper Flieger watch has. The Lesablier logo wraps around the 24 hours dial at 12 o’clock. t 6 o’clock you have a writing which indicates what number out of 500 watches you have. The printing is done very well, the lines are sharp and the text is crisp. Funny enough, everything that you see on the dial, that is in white color is lumed, and I was surprised to discover this as I never seen this on any watch that everything is lumed. And as you can see from the lume shot, it looks amazing! The lume doesn’t last very long, but plenty enough. The 24 hour and minute hands are partially skeletonized and lumed. They have a sword shape and have polished finishing.

The movement that is indie the Aviateur VQ is a Swiss made Quartz movement. I don’t know particularly which one, but probably a Ronda. All I can say that Swiss Made quartz movements are super reliable and will last a long time. Plus they will always be precise, because of the quartz. The battery life is 45 months. The strap that is on the watch is also done in this pilot watch style with the stitching. The is made of red-brown “weathered” grain leather with off-white contrast stitching. The stitching is done very well and the strap is finished nicely. The strap is very supple so it will fit your wrist nicely right out of the box. Tang style buckle is made of stainless steel and has a polished finishing with a Lesablier logo on it.

Overall I really like the watch. The only problem I found was probably that very small crown. They should really make the net watch with a bigger crown. Otherwise, you get a really solid watch for 295$. For that price you get a cool design, good build quality, Swiss made quartz movement, limited edition, and killer lume shot! I really hope they will make a mechanical version of this one or maybe a similarly styled watch in the future!

Price: 295$ @ lesablierwatches.com

  • Production – Limited production, 250 units of each strap color per production series.
  • Dial – High-contrast gloss black dial indexed for 24 hours with 8-hour lume on all white elements. Each dial features your watch’s unique, individual production number.
  • Case  – 41mm 316L sandblasted stainless steel case with polished crown and bezel.
  • Movement – Swiss Quartz, 24-Hour scale. 45-month battery life.
  • Straps – 22mm padded genuine leather with polished and engraved tang buckle.
  • Midnight: Jet black leather with black stitching
  • Terracotta: Rich red-brown “weathered” grain leather with off-white contrast stitching.
  • Water Resistance – 50 meters/5ATM
  • Crystal – Domed Sapphire Crystal with a blue Anti-Reflective coating
  • Packaging – Our unique “Aviator” box, warranty card and instruction manual.
  • Warranty – One year warranty on any movement-related issues.

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